The Relevance of Video-based Learning

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History and Evolution of Video-based Learning:

Video-based learning has been around since the early 20th century. A very popular technical video-based learning was produced in 1937 entitled ‘Around the Corner – How Differential Steering Works’. Uploaded to YouTube in 2009, at the time of writing it has been viewed over 17 million times. Soldiers in World War 2 were trained with video-based learning to enhance their skills. The late 1960’s witnessed the use of educational television, and there has been no turning back since. The success of YouTube educational videos is ample testimony to the effectiveness of engagement with video-based learning. 

Video-based learning

Benefits of Video-based Learning:

Multisensory Learning Engagement

As the name suggests, multi-sensory learning happens when the learner engages all the senses with the learning event that he is participating in. Video learning is eminently suitable to multi-modal learning, as it employs images – moving and static, text, sound, and audio, allowing for the learner to engage more wholly, and thus learn better and retain better. Engagement is but a natural outcome. Students process information faster and more effectively. The human brain processes videos 60,000 times faster than text. Source: “Video vs Text: The Brain Perspective”, Liraz Margalit. Margalit further adds “When we watch a video, we become immersed in it and create an empathetic connection with the screen. If you want your visitors to fall in love with your content, it makes sense to deliver it via video… it is much easier for us to become emotionally attached to something we watch in a video than something we read in an article.”

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Any subject under the sun can be taught using video. Whether it is teaching language – with text, audio, body language, etiquette, using a tool, performing a complex engineering or medical procedure, problem-solving, academic subjects in school or college, corporate training, improving productivity, critical thinking, applying philosophy to real life, they are all suitable subjects to be taught via video and hold the learner’s attention, and enhance capacity for recall. This article explores the 100 + best educational YouTube channels with subjects as varied as learning math to learning the guitar, caring for animals, thinking like a lawyer, applying psychology to foster emotional and mental well-being and everything in between


21st-century learning is all about need-based learning interventions aligned with our on-demand culture’s expectations. Users prefer to ‘pull’ in the learning as and when they need it, on the go. Advances in digital technology, the ubiquity of the smartphone, the lack of linear time for structured learning have facilitated and empowered learners to learn on the go and tackle challenges in the real world with ready resources available with a tap or a click on the mobile, tablet or laptop. In the corporate world, where training schedules are getting diluted and emaciated by the day, while expectations of high performance are increasing exponentially, learning videos are immensely effective by “enabling users to access at the point of need and find compressed nuggets of content that can help them with specific tasks or workflow”.

Flexibility of Pace

Users are comforted by the reassuring fact of the video’s availability within a defined period or perennially so that they can visit or revisit the learning event anytime. Additionally, they can start, stop, rewind at any point where there is a need. This inherent flexibility of video-based learning is a potent factor for the popularity of this learning medium.

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Improves Accessibility

Mobile, tablet, laptop, desktop, on the internet, offline – video-based learning can be accessed on any device, making learning on this medium a seamless experience for users. Accessibility in this age of advanced and evolving digital technology is a huge, huge draw.

Facilitates Microlearning

Microlearning, as the name suggests, is learning in small chunks, where the training is delivered in small bites, i.e short bursts of content in text and/or multimedia, providing specific information aimed at delivering one learning objective. Two consistent features of this medium regardless of where and how it is deployed are:

  1. Brevity – this is the one underlying, non-negotiable characteristic that defines this medium of instruction. The duration could range from a few seconds to up to 15 minutes.
  2. Single idea/granularity – the content is confined to ONE specific topic, idea, or concept.

Videos are ideally placed to deliver microlearning modules for effective consumption and application of the learning. Independent studies have reported that learners skip ahead if videos are longer than 9 – 12 minutes. 

Ensures Consistency

Multi-national, multi-locational organizations often suffer from a lack of consistency and authenticity in conveying mission, vision, goals, and other such corporate and internal communication to its employees and the world at large. This can and often results in contradictory signals and incoherent/misleading communication, which are dangerous impediments to the smooth running of operations and business. Thoughtfully produced videos, on the other hand, are a great driver for continuity and consistency as they are easily distributable across locations, and convey a coherent message.

Reduces Training Cost

With the plethora of paid and free software available, the cost of producing a video has reduced exponentially, as has the complexity in developing one. This one-time cost offsets the higher and repetitive costs of Instructor-led Learning which includes travel, place, and time costs and learning which cannot be revisited without recreating the entire environment. Reports suggest that video-based learning can result in 50-70% savings for a company. It is well-known that Microsoft saved a whopping USD 303 per learner, with the implementation of video-based learning. The return on investment then is colossal, and organizations are increasingly conscious of this advantage.

Video-based learning

To rest our case, we close with a couple of thought-provoking statistics: 

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By 2022, 82% of all online traffic is predicted to be video, with videos crossing the internet at a rate of up to 1 million per second.”.

The value of the global eLearning market will rise to $406 billion by 2024 … as more and more online students embrace the ease of digital classes.” 

In these pandemic times, with social distancing the absolute norm, video-based learning is the medium to explore when developing training modules for the workforce, given its all-round adaptability and accessibility.

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